Make yourself earth.
We will put wind in your navel
and sea between your legs.
Make yourself light and stars.
I’ll pass the night in sky-blue dreams to be unseen.
Make yourselves fishes, animals, birds.
Multiply yourselves and inhabit the realm of my hips.
Make yourselves flowers and fruits
to feign celebration.
Make yourself man of the mud of my throat
who comes up from saliva to sing.
Make yourself woman in my image
with the sacred sweetness of speech.
The prophecy is fulfilled
and I spill ink from my eyes.
I write breathless
by the cows that cross this bridge,
where you no longer hear mooing,
of a spear piercing a ribcage
that marks with blood
to follow me.
I write massacring myself,
opening wounds in which to cry
and beat on so many chests.
Prayer in the babbling.
I write with candles in my eyes.
Ritual of Absence and its Shadows
I will burn laurel in the corners of the house
where we consume ourselves.
I know now that movement will never come back
I will pick up the hairs off the rug.
I won’t sleep again on the sheets
where we made ourselves waters
and salivas, white, each one from licking the other.
I will burn laurel in this house.
With sugar I’ll set about burning
skins and flesh.
I will burn laurel in the beating of a heart.
Translated by Arthur Malcolm Dixon
Poems from the book Seducción de los venenos
Arthur Malcolm Dixon is co-founder, lead translator, and Managing Editor of Latin American Literature Today. He has translated the novels Immigration: The Contest by Carlos Gámez Pérez and There Are Not So Many Stars by Isaí Moreno (Katakana Editores), as well as the verse collection Intensive Care by Arturo Gutiérrez Plaza (Alliteratïon). He also works as a community interpreter in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a Tulsa Artist Fellow.